Cue the Variants: Coupe, Mazdaspeed Versions of Mazda6 on the Way?

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Soon after the new 2014 Mazda6 is released, the sporty all-wheel-drive MazdaSpeed6 variant could make a comeback – possibly returning as a two-door coupe targeting the Audi A5, Auto Express reports.

A two-door MazdaSpeed6 would act as a halo car for Mazda, which is exactly what Mazda reportedly wants. With a coupe model based on the 2014 Mazda6  optimistically positioned up against the Audi A5, as Mazdaspeed6 coupe could inject some sportiness back into the midsize sedan segment – something that's mostly been lacking since the last Mazdaspeed6 left the party in 2007.

When asked about the possibility of a future MPS model (the name given to the Mazdaspeed6 in the U.K.), program manager Hiroshi Kajiyama told Auto Express: “There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand.”

Rumor has it that a new Mazdaspeed6 would follow the same formula as the last one – that is with a turbocharged four-pot driving all four wheels. Auto Express reasons that the Mazda6's gas-powered 2.0-liter SkyActiv I-4 is the most likely candidate for the Mazdaspeed6. That engine (currently available on the Mazda3 and not yet confirmed on the U.S.-spec 6) would be fitted with a turbocharger. Auto Express estimates that powerplant will make around 260 hp, but output could be higher to match or beat the previous-generation Mazdaspeed6's output of 274 hp. Since the 2014 Mazda6 shares a few key parts with the new CX-5, its all-wheel drive system should transfer easily to a future Mazdaspeed version.

The ultimate question remains: could the Mazdaspeed6 come to our shores? Should it? Of the two confirmed 2014 Mazda6 body styles, we're only slated to get the sedan, while the rest of the world gets the wagon too. A Mazda6 coupe could make more sense in our market, considering some rivals (like Honda) still offer two-door versions of their midsize sedans. If the coupe body style does arrive, a Mazdaspeed6 Coupe could also find its place in Mazda's U.S. lineup to compete against the V-6-powered Honda Accord Coupe, and a sedan version could provide an alternative to the departed Subaru Legacy GT.

Should the “zoom-zoom” brand build a two-door version of the Mazda6? What other variants of the upcoming midsizer would you like to see? Sound off in the comments below.

Source: Auto Express

TD-40
The CEO said at today's LA Auto Show that they will not be offering a turbo for this sedan. But he didn't say anything about a Mazdaspeed version of the new 6.
allinfight
I think a high performance AWD family hauler up to modern fuel economy standards is a great idea! The sedan version could fill a niche, especially if it was offered with a manual since that is something that the competitors don’t offer with their higher output engines (coupe only for Accord V6 / not at all for the Camry or Altima). Add AWD drive to the mix and you differentiate yourself further. A feature like AWD could be a huge selling point in places like the Northeast. Benchmarking the Audi A5 seems misplaced however. I think they need to look at the BMW 528i xDrive model as a benchmark for “GREAT” AWD mileage (22 city / 33 highway/ 26 combined). The weight of the ’14 Mazda6 is supposed to be under 3000 lbs. Based on the specs for the CX-5 it appears AWD adds ~150 lbs. and hits you with a 1 mpg penalty (city/highway). The additional turbo piping, intercooler, bigger brakes, upgraded suspension components, etc. could add another 100 to 200 lbs. Given those parameters there should be no reason Mazda could not hit the 528i xDrive mpg target using SkyActiv-G tech combined with turbocharging. Add in i-stop and i-ELOOP and beating it becomes a possibility. Given that the 528ix weighs ~1000 lbs. more than the theoretical MS6 there should be a substantial performance advantage for the MS6. I would say Ford Taurus SHO Performance Pack acceleration numbers would not be out of the question (0-60 5.2 sec & ¼ Mile 13.7 sec.) but I would stretch goal to BMW 335i xDrive/ Audi S4 numbers. Also, Mazda has been lauded for the driving feel and handling of the CX-5 so it appears that department should be covered as well. Mazda brings this kind of car to life in the next gen MS6 they should have a real winner on their hands. Come up short in MPG or performance numbers and it will die like the first gen MS6.

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